Casalago Construction and Squatters

Some time ago, March maybe, I did say we’d have the new addition to our Lake of the Ozarks house completed by Memorial Day, right? Boy was I ever wrong, which wouldn’t be a first for me. Always think positive, it’s a curse I can’t seem to quench. Still in the positive mode, my current guestimate for a somewhat completion would now be Fourth of July. With vacation retreats, in particular our family’s, it’s all about taking advantage of the long holiday weekends, at least for those who hold down regular jobs, which no longer includes me. As a writer I take my work, make that my HP laptop, with me wherever I go. On the downside of this, I’m never totally immersed in the writing nor in a state of total relaxation when either mindset is my objective.

Enough with the whining, here’s the latest checklist of what has been accomplished and what’s yet to happen at Casalago before our 900-square foot addition becomes suitable for habitation as compared to completely finished, as in move-in ready without one more thing needing to be done. Which, as most homeowners know, is never going to happen.

What a Relief List

Roof and exterior siding, windows, and doors: Done

Dry wall and ready to prep: Done

New furnace, air conditioner, and hot water heater: Done

Outside painting: Done

Purchase kitchen appliances, counter tops, kitchen and bath cabinetry: Done

Landscaping: Done

To Do List (by family or pros)

Paint interior

Prep and install tile kitchen and bath floors

Deliver, unload, and install kitchen and bathroom essentials

Install bedroom and dormitory flooring

Complete electrical work

Etcetera, etcetera, etcetera.

Moving back to the completed list brings to mind the painting of our 4-foot eaves that extend around the perimeter of our house. While the painter was standing on an extension ladder outside our bedroom window, he called me over and pointed upward to the eave he’d been painting.

“See that little opening,” he said, referring to a space of maybe one-quarter inch by six inches. “Well, some little things were sticking out and I painted over them. That’s when they moved and I realized I’d painted the feet of three sleeping bats.”

Sleeping bats! Oh, no. I thought the exterminator rid our attic of those winged mammals several years ago. About a hundred, as I recall, all bunched together for a good day’s sleep. One evening the following year a single bat took refuge in our living room and after hours of searching for it, we finally gave up, only to discover its tiny corpse weeks later. Okay, so these new squatters haven’t actually parked themselves inside our bat-proof attic or ventured into the house. They’re outside, tucked in that narrow space above our bedroom window. There’s no way they could possibly access the attic. Or so I’ve been assured.

So now, whenever we’re at the lake overseeing this on-going construction, I find myself falling asleep each night to the distinctive chatter of bats and waking up before sunrise to more chatter as the creatures return from their moveable feast, having spent the night devouring their weight in pesky mosquitos. Bats, they enjoy the privileged status of protected wildlife, not that I’d ever consider sending them to bat heaven, even though the only thing separating those bloodsuckers from Hubby D and me is a mere window screen.

Hmm, it takes nothing more than a single drop of rain to arouse D from a deep sleep whereas I can saw logs through the worst of thunderstorms without batting an eye (pardon my pun). And yet, D still hasn’t heard our squatter bats going out or coming back to roost. Anybody for selective hearing?

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About Loretta Giacoletto

Loretta Giacoletto is an American writer of family sagas, mysteries, and contemporary fiction, all of which contain elements of crime. She divides her time between the St. Louis Metropolitan area and Missouri's Lake of the Ozarks where she writes fiction, essays, and her bi-monthly blog, Loretta on Life, while her husband Dominic cruises the waters for bass and crappie. Their five children have left the once chaotic nest but occasionally return for her to-die-for ravioli and roasted peppers topped with garlic-laden bagna càuda. An avid traveler, she has visited numerous countries in Europe and Asia but Italy remains her favorite, especially the area from where her family originates: the Piedmont region near the Italian Alps. - See more at: http://www.loretta-giacoletto.com
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